I sat down this morning to write a little piece on conservation.
And then I thought:” what is conservation really”?
Conservation is ‘the prevention of wasteful use of a resource’; also, ‘the preservation, protection or restoration of the natural environment’. Well, that is what the Lexicon dictionary says.
I believe that conservation is much more than this. Conservation looks at what we (humans) need to prosper, and then how large of an impact we can afford on the environment around us.
And then we can get fancy with buzzwords: Biodegradable, eco-friendly, recycle, waste management…
Conservation is more than all these things. Conservation is something you DO. It starts at home. Tap water rather than a plastic bottle (or come to Kaingo and we will give you a monogrammed stainless-steel flask to take home), a reusable bag for shopping… eish- I take a whole cooler box shopping! Eco-friendly soaps and cleaning materials; in most cases the cost difference is negligible.
And then we get to nature!
Your garden at home? Let it grow! Plant trees, shrubs. Let Nature in. create living spaces for bugs, field mice and birds. Plant a spekboom to offset some of your carbon footprints (But only in your garden please- spekboom is indigenous to the Karoo thicket biome and a few other places on South Africa’s Eastern seaboard, not anywhere else!)
Kaingo is part of a few dedicated areas that are trying our best to ‘conserve’ nature by taking it back to a time when the human populations had not done that much damage to the ecological workings of the ecological system. Far from merely preserving nature, we aim to truly re-create what was once a great, varied and beautiful system.
It’s a tough job, but someone must do it!
I am now going to attempt to answer the question I asked right at the beginning of this blog: What is conservation really?
Conservation is love!
Love for nature. Love for our fellow human being. Love for the prosperity that technology and development can bring. Love for good food. Love for travelling and exploration.
But conservation comes with a responsibility: Use with the future in mind. Do not ever take more than you need. Travel with discretion. Develop and build but leave islands of nature-even if only for your own rest and wellbeing. Visit and support conservation minded places and organizations. Use what you can multiple times over. Discard with prejudice.
We are a mere blip on the fabric of time. Those coming after us will inherit our triumphs, failures and successes.
Let us be the first generation to conserve- with love!